The Norman Transcript

National Sports

August 19, 2013

Michigan’s Mikulak cruises to U.S. men’s gymnastics title



He returned to Oklahoma to get his life together and has emerged on the other side as one of the country’s most complete gymnasts.

“I think that I’m in a better place in my life right now,” Naddour said. “I closed on my house and it’s nice to be settled in. It’s going to plan.”

Dalton, rings specialist Brandon Wynn and floor exercise champion Steven Legendre figure to join Naddour and Mikulak in Belgium.

The sixth and final spot could come down to Orozco and Leyva.

The duo were the linchpins of the 2012 Olympic team but have taken very different paths since leaving London. Orozco tore the ACL in his left knee last fall.

This weekend marked his first all-around competition since leaving London and after shaking off some rust on Thursday, Orozco’s all-around score on Sunday (90.4) was second only to Naddour.

Leyva flubbed his way through pommel horse twice, but redeemed himself on parallel bars.

The 2011 world champion in the event posted a score of 15.650 on Sunday, easily the highest of the afternoon.

Even if Leyva or Orozco — or both — make the team, they will play a supporting role behind Mikulak.

The chilled out kid with the spiky hair has emerged from a crowded picture to become a legitimate threat to challenge Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura in Antwerp when qualifying begins on Sept. 30.

“I’ve got a few more (weeks) to prepare,” Mikulak said, “and I definitely think people should start watching out for me.”


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